Takeover week at North Lincolnshire Museum

My name is Lois Albans-Heseltine and I am a Learning Assistant at North Lincolnshire Museum. This year I ran the Takeover Project. I trained four girls and two boys from Priory Lane Community School to be tour guides. All the children were in year six and aged 10 or 11.

On the Monday the children were all given tour guide badges and I explained what a tour did. I then asked them to think about and discuss what makes a good tour guide. The children then prepared some questions and interviewed a Museum Assistant who delivers tours. The children interviewed Shannon and all asked good questions.

I then took the children on a tour of the museum and asked them to make a note of any stories or objects they found particularly interesting.

On the Tuesday I gave the children a simple script of the tour and we went through it together walking around the museum. Here they had the opportunity to add in any bits they found especially interesting and wanted to share with the group coming for the tour. At the end of the day I asked the children which part of the museum tour they would like to deliver. All of them had a favourite part and were enthusiastic to learn what they had to deliver.

On Thursday the children practised the tour and thought about the timings of the part they were delivering. The children were all really good at keeping an eye on the time and organised themselves well. At the end of the day they all said they felt happy with what they were doing and ready to deliver the tour to the class visiting the following day.

On the Friday the six children arrived at 9:30am to prepare for the tour. They all said they were excited but also a little bit nervous. I assured them that they would be fine as they had all worked really hard all week and knew the tour well. When the Year four school group arrived the children greeted the group and began the tour.

All six children delivered the tour incredibly well. They worked well as a team keeping the school group together and their timings were good. They spoke clearly and confidently keeping good eye contact with the school group and didn’t need to use their scripts much at all. The children ran the tour well with little intervention required from myself or the class teacher. They worked well as a team and praised each other at the end of each section of the tour. Throughout the tour the tour guides gave the school group the opportunity to ask questions and responded to them appropriately.

At the end of the tour the one of the tour guides gathered the school group together and asked who enjoyed the tour. There was a great response from the year four group with comments such as ‘It made me learn more things’ and ‘Very good, it’s very exciting’.

There is always room for improvement when delivering a tour but what the children have achieved is wonderful. I was very proud of them as was the teacher who commented ‘Really impressed. The children are asking good questions and the guides are open to the answers’.

I asked the children to fill in an evaluation sheet and the comments received were really positive. One girl said ‘I enjoyed the Go Wild area. I am definitely coming here again.’ Another said, ‘I enjoyed it all and it built my confidence.’ One boy was keen to do it again and commented, ‘I really enjoyed Takeover and I hope I can do it again.’

I really enjoyed working with the children. They were enthusiastic, hard working and I would happily run the project next year.